Newcastle United’s ownership faces fresh scrutiny after the publication of court documents in the United States.
The St James’ Park club was acquired by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October 2021.
The Premier League approved the takeover after being assured that the Kingdom would not have any control over Newcastle.
However, it has emerged that there could be a closer relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF.
A court case is ongoing between the PGA Tour and PIF-owned LIV Golf, and the Daily Mail has shared legal documents involved.
The PIF are challenging an order to produce documents, and they argue that the fund and their governor Yasir Othman Al Rumayyan ‘are not ordinary third parties’.
The Premier League received ‘legally-binding assurances’ that the PIF are a separate entity from Saudi.
It took 18 months before the Newcastle takeover was finally approved.
The PIF found a way to prove that the Saudi state does not control them.
However, they might have shot themselves in the foot with the recent court documents.
The sovereign wealth fund further claimed in the document that they and their governor are a sovereign instrumentality of Saudi and a sitting minister of the Saudi government, respectively.
They argue that the governor cannot be compelled to provide testimony and documents due to sovereign immunity.
The Premier League claimed that PIF can be removed as Newcastle owners if evidence of state involvement is found.
They could now be forced to act amid the recent revelations. It will be intriguing to see how things go.
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